Winter Storm In Caithness

I shared a photo of this storm in a recent gallery post so thought I should share these videos I captured on the same day.

They are not the best or most accomplished you’ll see (filmed in a storm, on a camera rather than a dedicated video camera), but they should give a good idea of the power of the sea up here in northern Scotland.

Winter storm surges seem to be occurring with increasing regularity. We were mostly lucky this last winter, as they big storms seemed to mostly occur when there was a neap tide, rather than the much higher spring tides. In these videos, this is what had happened — a winter storm had combined with spring tides and a powerful surge to overwhelm the sea defences. Many millions of pounds of damage was done around the coastline.

These storms serve as a reminder that we cannot, no matter what we think, control nature. She is too strong for us. This is a good thing, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded how small we are.


All three of these videos are on my youtube channel (I still need to link this to my usual Google ID, if indeed this is possible) — I don’t have many videos on there (or, more pertinently, I don’t have many public videos on there), but these seem to have generated a few views, especially this last one. Why the people on the bridge chose to walk across on that side, I’m still not sure! The bridge was closed minutes after this was shot.

Finally, here are a few photos of the outer harbour on calmer days. The difference is obvious — on warmer, brighter days, the harbour mouth looks like it is situated a lot further south than it actually is — but these pictures also serve to demonstrate the incredible scale of the waves on the videos (you can see the doorway to the lighthouse, for example).

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